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Optics Letters

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  • Vol. 36, Iss. 20 — Oct. 15, 2011
  • pp: 4098–4100

Hybrid immersion-polarization method for measuring birefringence applied to spider silks

Douglas J. Little and Deborah M. Kane  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 20, pp. 4098-4100 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.36.004098


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Abstract

A technique for accurate measurement of the principle refractive indices and birefringence for silklike samples is presented. It is based on rotating the linear polarization of the illuminating light on a silk immersed in reference liquid to achieve index matching at the silk/liquid interface. The technique was used to measure the principal refractive indices of a P. eburnus radial silk at different strains. This in turn allows the calculation of strain-optic coefficients. The first measurement of the strain-optic coefficients of spider silk is presented. The technique is more generally applicable to strain-optic study of birefringent micro-optic samples.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(290.3030) Scattering : Index measurements
(160.1435) Materials : Biomaterials

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

History
Original Manuscript: July 28, 2011
Revised Manuscript: September 21, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: September 21, 2011
Published: October 14, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Douglas J. Little and Deborah M. Kane, "Hybrid immersion-polarization method for measuring birefringence applied to spider silks," Opt. Lett. 36, 4098-4100 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-36-20-4098


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